Most people are familiar with the concept of FAQ - frequently asked questions. FNA is pretty the same and means "frequently needed answers". The difference is that by calling it FNA I admit that nobody actually asked these questions (which is often also true for FAQs but nobody would admit it).


What platforms does BKChem run on?

BKChem is developed on a GNU/Linux system and tested also under Windows XP. It was also reported to successfully run on Mac OS X.

How do I install BKChem on Mac OS X?

Updated 2008-05-30You may either use the contributed all-in-one package from download page, or use the following steps to install BKChem from the sources.

Bellow is a short howto contributed by Jerome Pansanel for Mac OS X 10.2:

  1. Install Macpython-2.3.3 for Mac OS X 10.2
  2. Install TclTkAqua-8.4.6.dmg
  3. Download bkchem
  4. Install bkchem by using the terminal:
    username% python /usr/local/bin/python2.3 install
  5. Edit /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.3/lib/python2.3/bkchem: change 'python' on the second line with '/usr/local/lbin/pythonw'
  6. Launch BKChem:
    username% /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.3/lib/python2.3/bkchem

What about other platforms - BSDs etc.?

I am trying to write BKChem as platform independent as possible. However, because I don't have the other systems available I don't know if and how does BKChem run on those platforms.

I would appreciate any info (as detailed as possible) about the problems on these systems.

The documentation does not seem to be very up-to-date.

I did not touch it for more than one year. This is the reason why I included some hints into the last release and why I wrote this document. I believe that most of the features are self-evident so its best to document only the tricks.

Why is there no binary build for Linux?

It would be nice to have one. Unfortunately because of differences in shared libraries on different systems, it is near to impossible to create a binary for all distributions. It would mean delivering every possible shared library together with BKChem and because there are lots of them (X is one :) it would effectively mean creating a new Linux distribution.

The other possibility is to prepare binary for each system, but I have neither time nor motivation to do it.

Tips and tricks

Why do I always have to go to the 'text mode' when I want to change a symbol of an atom?

You don't have to. Once an atom is selected (which is done automatically after you add it) press 'space' and you will be immediately able to enter the desired text.

NOTE: in bkchem versions 0.8.0 and newer you can just start typing, without needing to press space.

Is there any other trick like this?

Yes, if you press only 'enter' the last used text will be set as a symbol for the selected atoms.

How do I move one atom? I always get the whole molecule moving.

By default only the parts of the molecule that are selected are moved when dragged. When the dragged atom is not selected, the whole molecule is moved. This is a convenience feature, because it is much more often that people move whole molecules than single atoms. When you need to move a single atom, select it with a left-click and then move it.

How do I change the language of BKChem?

In the recent versions of BKChem it is possible to choose the language from the "Options/Language" menu.

How to create my own templates?

The possibility to create your own templates is included in bkchem version 0.9.0-pre1 and newer. A small tutorial on how to do it is here.

Can I create my own plugins?

Yes, it is in fact very simple. All the necessary information is available here.

What about using BKChem for batch conversion of files?

By a mechanism very similar to that of plugins BKChem supports so-called "batch scripts" that may be used for batch conversion of files but also for many other things. The details are available here.